Delve Into dark history of the Salem witch trials In Back Alley Product Ions' "The Crucible" In LaFayette. STARTS FRIDAY
Back Alley Productions presents ‘The Crucible’
Back Alley Productions will open Arthur Miller’s legacy drama, “The Crucible,” on Friday, Nov. 10, with five performances at the Mars Theatre in LaFayette, Ga., through Sunday, Nov. 18.
“The Crucible” is set during the Salem witch trials, a dark period in American history when ordinary citizens were tortured and even killed for being accused of witchcraft. Miller used the guilty-until-proven-innocent mentality of Salem as an examination of his own experiences with the McCarthy hearings during the 1950s. In was then that several prominent Americans, including Miller, were accused of national treason and linked to Soviet communism, with little or no evidence.
This production will forgo traditional 17th- century Salem for the 1950s’ look and feel that Miller was familiar with, all in order to bring the metaphor of the Red Scare to the forefront, while drawing comparisons to our modern world.
“’The Crucible’ is such a powerful show and I’m glad to have such a talented cast to put it on,” says Joseph Henry Watts, who is making his directorial debut with Back Alley Productions.
“Arthur Miller has always been my favorite playwright and ‘ The Crucible’ has always been a dream of mine to direct. The show is powerful, dramatic and has such great moments for audiences to enjoy.”
The story is told primarily through the eyes of a farmer, John Proctor, who suffers from the downfall of his community after several young girls attempt to conjure spirits in the woods. When caught, the girls accuse other inhabitants of Salem of practicing witchcraft. Soon their childish finger-pointing spirals i nto mass hysteria wherein everyone is a potential witch, leading to a cycle of distrust, accusation, arrest and ultimately conviction.
“The story of a community — pastors, farmers, lawyers and families — all leaning into their worst selves through paranoia and accusation is a powerful message for today,” Watts says.
“While this production is apolitical, I think it’s fair to say that in our current political climate everyone, regardless of background, has developed a sense of fear from those they disagree with. Miller is definitely using both instances of the witch trials and McCarthyism to warn audiences of the cost of such fears and hysteria.”
Watts adds that the production will be performed in “Alley staging.”
“We’ve thrown away the idea of performing the show in a typical proscenium- style fashion,” he said. “The show will be performed in a transverse stage style known as Alley staging. This is the first attempt at this unique staging strategy from Back Alley in an attempt to truly show the depth, hysteria, and paranoia based in ‘The Crucible.’”
Kashun Parks as Tituba.
Alex Walker as John Proctor and Alyssa Whitesell as the dangerous Abigail Williams, who seduces Proctor and sets out on a destructive path of manipulation and lies.
Landon Carpenter plays Rev. Hale, who arrives in Salem to try and save its spirituality from dying during the witch trials.